"Why not have those seven times in your game?" Ramirez said.
Ramirez executed that approach almost flawlessly against the Indians, allowing one run on three hits over eight innings while striking out 10 and walking none. The eight innings and the 10 strikeouts matched career highs, and they were recorded against a team that had won 27 of its last 28 games.
"We haven't had an outing like that in quite some time," manager Scott Servais said. "To get through eight innings against a talented team over there. It really all starts with pitching. The job he did on the mound tonight was awesome. Kept his pitch count in check. Kept attacking, I thought him and Chooch, Carlos Ruiz, did a great job together game planning during the game. And he mixed it up. It starts with him."
It isn't just his mindset that allows Ramirez to perform like that. He boasts four pitches that he can mix in throughout the game. He demonstrated that on Friday.
"He threw a lot of first-pitch strikes to get him up early in the count, and his cutter -- it was working in and out," Ruiz said. "Good sequence, and we had great feeling throughout the whole game, and that was huge. The first inning we were using a lot of changeups, and after that we tried to stay away from the changeups and work with the cutter.
"That was fun to catch."
It was a bounce-back outing for Ramirez. The Nicaraguan allowed six runs over four innings in an 8-6 loss to the Astros in his last start.
"The big thing he did is he went north and south," Servais said. He put the fastball up, he got the changeup down."
His only blemish came on a changeup on a 1-2 count that he didn't keep down in the zone and Cleveland's No. 9 hitter, Giovanny Urshela, launched it over the left-field fence in the third inning.
Ramirez showed resiliency after that, retiring the next 18 batters to cap his terrific outing.
"To get back on track after that homer, it was something huge," Ramirez said.
The Mariners acquired Ramirez at the non-waiver trade deadline, shipping Steve Cishek to Tampa Bay for the right-hander, who was pitching out of the Rays' bullpen.
But the Mariners saw starting potential in Ramirez. And that may pay significant dividends for years to come, with Ramirez under team control through 2019.
"Jerry [Dipoto] and the other guys in the front office are always turning over ever rock, trying to find something that would work," Servais said. "And pulling Erasmo back here to Seattle and knowing he could start, I think the biggest draw to Erasmo is he had the track record of getting through the lineup three times and has the weapons to do it. Some days it's easier for him than others. But for the most part, he's been one of our most consistent guys since we've acquired him and got his pitch count built up."
Josh Horton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.